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Princess Tutu
Optimized image 81ab9e07.png
Princess Tutu logo
プリンセスチュチュ
(Purinsesu Chuchu)
Genre Ballet, Drama, Romance
TV anime
Director Junichi Sato
Shogo Koumoto
Studio Hal Film Maker
Licensor United States ADV Films
Network NHK, Kids Station
Original run August 16, 2002May 23, 2003
Episodes 26
Manga
Author Mizuo Shinonome
Publisher Akita Shoten
English publisher United States ADV Manga
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Champion Red
Original run 20012003
Volumes 2
Anime and Manga Portal

Princess Tutu (プリンセスチュチュ Purinsesu Chuchu?) is a magical girl anime series created by Ikuko Itoh in 2002 for animation studio Hal Film Maker. It was adapted as a 2-volume manga illustrated by Mizuo Shinonome. Both series are licensed in North America by ADV Films.

Princess Tutu includes elements of fairy tales and famous ballets, particularly Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. The series follows Duck, a duck who has transformed into a young girl who attends school and takes ballet, and her efforts to restore the heart of her mysterious schoolmate Mytho by transforming into Princess Tutu. The series explores the consequences of her actions and how they affect her and those around her, particularly Duck's classmate Rue, who is in love with Mytho, and Fakir, Mytho's childhood friend. It becomes apparent that Duck, Rue, Mytho, and Fakir are meant to play out the roles of characters in a story written by a writer named Drosselmeyer, but the characters begin to resist the constraints of their assigned fates and they fight to keep the story from becoming a tragedy.

Contents

Plot

A writer named Drosselmeyer, whose stories became reality, had his hands cut off and was killed by those fearing his power. With the story left unfinished, the prince and raven from one of his stories were trapped in an eternal battle. The raven broke free from the story into the real world, and the prince pursued to seal him away again. To do so, the prince shattered his own heart with his sword. Drosselmeyer had written about himself before he died, and managed to continue to control events despite his death. When he sees a duck watching the sad, heartless prince Mytho dancing on the water, he decides to let the story take its own course and transforms the duck into a human girl named Duck so she can help the prince. If she quacks, she becomes a duck again, but if she comes into contact with water, she returns to her girl form.

Duck becomes a student at the school that Mytho attends, attending ballet classes with him. She learns of his shattered heart, and transforms into Princess Tutu with the aid of an egg-shaped necklace that glows red when a heart shard is near. The heart shards have found homes in people who feel a strong emotion, which then becomes enhanced and exaggerated with the presence of the heart shard.

Unlike most magical girl heroines, Princess Tutu does not physically fight the people affected by heart shards. Instead, she chooses to dance with them, communicating without words in an attempt to help them better understand their feelings and show them how to overcome it. Since these heightened emotions are a result of the heart shard that resides within them, they are freed of this artificial intensity when Princess Tutu removes the heart shard and returns them to Mytho.

When Mytho's girlfriend Rue realizes that Tutu is returning Mytho's heart shards to him, Rue transforms into Princess Kraehe and attempts to block Tutu's efforts so she can give the heart shards to her father, the raven. Mytho's childhood friend Fakir also attempts to stop Tutu with the hope of protecting Mytho from the tragedy he suffered when his heart was shattered, and to protect the world from the raven.

It becomes clear that Mytho wants his heart to be restored, and Duck persists despite Kraehe and Fakir's interference. When Fakir learns that he is a descendant of Drosselmeyer and also has the power to control reality by writing stories, he tries to use his power to aid Duck in her efforts to restore Mytho's heart. When Kraehe learns that the raven is not her real father and that she was kidnapped by ravens as a child, she attempts to help, only to be captured by the raven.

With Tutu's help, Mytho's heart is restored, but he is unable to fight the raven because it would shatter his heart again, and Rue is unable to escape the raven because of her despair. In the end it is Duck's perseverance that gives Mytho and Rue the strength to defeat the raven together.

After the raven is destroyed, Mytho, Rue, Fakir, and Duck dismantle the machine in the clock tower of Gold Crown Town that enabled Drosselmeyer to continue to control events by mechanically writing stories. Duck returns to her duck form, living near Fakir who continues his writing. Mytho and Rue marry and return to Mytho's original kingdom. In the end, Drosselmeyer, ironically, wondered if he was part of someone else's story.

Characters

  • Duck (あひる Ahiru?) is a friendly, kind-hearted duck who was turned into a pre-teen girl by Drosselmeyer with a magical pendant. Due to her true nature, she tends to act very duck-like, talking loudly and excessively, and is easily excitable and clumsy. She is also friendly with other birds around campus, feeding them each morning. If Duck removes the pendant or quacks while talking, she transforms back into a duck and must touch water while wearing the pendant to return to her human form. The pendant also allows Duck to transform into Princess Tutu (プリンセスチュチュ Purinsesu Chuchu?). As Princess Tutu, Duck is wise, graceful, elegant, and a distinctly better dancer. Duck/Tutu is initially in love with the prince, but if she confesses her love she will turn into a speck of light and vanish. Because she loves him unselfishly, she fulfills her duty in collecting the prince's scattered heart shards in the hope that, when Mytho's heart is returned, he would find happiness and she would see his true smile again. Towards the end of the series, Duck is happy for Mytho and Rue's relationship, and appears to have developed a strong relationship with Fakir. In the manga, Duck's name is Ahiru Arima and this name is retained in the English adaptation of the manga. Voiced by: Nanae Katou (Japanese), Luci Christian (English)
  • Mytho (みゅうと Myūto?) is the prince of the story. He was once noble and kind, sacrificing himself to protect the weak and the needy. However, when he was battling the monster raven, he shattered his own heart in order to seal the raven away. Now as a talented and popular senior at Gold Crown Academy (or "Kinkan" Academy, the Japanese pronunciation of the town's name), he possesses no emotions and is largely dependent on Fakir for his well-being and survival. Over the course of the series and particularly the first season, Mytho associates his new emotions with Princess Tutu, making him both drawn to her and afraid of her. In the second half of the series, Mytho changes because Kraehe soaks in the Raven's blood the piece of his heart that contained his feelings of love. As the Raven's blood starts to consume him, he tries to steal girls' hearts to sacrifice to the raven and begins verbally abusing Rue. Fortunately, Rue's true love for him and willingness to sacrifice herself for his sake helps him overcome the raven's blood when the last heart shard is returned. He then rescues Rue and makes her his princess. At the end of the anime, Mytho's real name is revealed to be Siegfried, the name of the prince in the ballet Swan Lake from which Princess Tutu borrows plot elements.[citation needed] Voiced by: Naoki Yanagi (Japanese), Jay Hickman (English)
  • Fakir (ふぁきあ Fakia?) is Mytho's roommate and a talented ballet dancer. At the start of the series, Fakir appears to be very cruel - he's rude and forceful, especially to Mytho, as well as possessive. Fakir tries to prevent Princess Tutu from restoring the prince's heart shards and discourages Mytho's initial experiences with emotions. Eventually, the series reveals that Fakir only wanted to protect Mytho from repeating the tragic events of the past. As the series progresses, Fakir loses his possessiveness and becomes less closed off, primarily through Duck's antics and his realization that Mytho himself wants his heart back. In the anime, Drosselmeyer's story The Prince and The Raven includes a knight who is to protect the prince and ends up dying by the claws of the raven. Fakir took on the role of the knight when he found Mytho long ago, and is also thought to be the reincarnation of said knight from the story, due to the scar-like birthmark that cuts across his chest, like the wound that ended the knight in the fairy tale. By joining Princess Tutu on her quest and allowing the story of The Prince and the Raven to start again, he both accepted and attempted to defy the fate of the knight. In the second season of the anime, Fakir's role changes when he accepts his real power, passed down to him from Drosselmeyer, in that what he writes can become true. However, his power does not always work. When he was a child, he attempted to use it once to save the town from ravens; instead, both his parents were killed trying to defend him in the resulting attack. This left him traumatized and afraid to use his power. Duck helps him accept his power and he begins to write again. As the second season progresses, Fakir grows increasingly fond of Duck while they work together to aid Mytho. He comes to realize that while he is unable to write for Mytho or himself, he can write for Duck, and becomes increasingly protective of her. When Drosselmeyer drives Duck into the Lake of Despair, Fakir goes after her and they dance a pas de deux, often used in ballet to indicate a love relationship, while agreeing that it is okay for them to be their true selves instead of being led by the story, he also states that when this story has ended he will stay with Duck forever. Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese), Chris Patton (English)
  • Rue (るう ?) is an advanced ballet student and greatly admired. She remains aloof from her peers, however, and appears to have no friends until Duck brazenly approaches her without fear and they become friendly. She is proud, but has a good heart and struggles with what she must do as Princess Kraehe. She has loved Mytho since she was a child after he defended her from ravens. She uses his lack of emotions to pretend they are a couple. Like Duck, she also has a magical princess alter ego, Princess Kraehe (プリンセスクレール Purinsesu Kurēru?), the daughter of the Raven. Her father is verbally and emotionally abusive towards her, tearing her down to keep control of her. At first, she tries to prevent the prince from retaining his heart shards out of fear she will lose him to someone else. Towards the end of the series, she learns that she is not a raven, but a human girl who was stolen from her parents as a baby during the Raven's attack on the town. She realizes her father has been using her, and begs Princess Tutu not to return the last shard, now fearing Mytho will be consumed by the Raven. Princess Tutu obeys the prince's request, however, and when it appears Mytho will give himself to the Raven, Rue sacrifices herself instead, stating that she had always loved Mytho. Touched by her act, Mytho regains his heart and rescues her, asking her to be his princess. In the manga, Rue's name is Rue Kuroha, and she is a much colder and crueler character. Voiced by: Nana Mizuki (Japanese), Jessica Boone (English)
  • The Raven (大鴉 Ōgarasu?) is the monster enemy of Drosselmeyer's story The Prince and The Raven. Mytho shattered his heart to seal up the raven, and he now requires the sacrifice of young, beautiful hearts in order to eat them and regain his form. He stole Rue from her parents as a child, raising her as his daughter, Princess Kraehe. When Kraehe obtained the shard of love, he advised her to soak it in raven's blood, causing the shard to corrupt the prince. The Raven constantly criticizes and verbally abuses Kraehe, calling her human form ugly and telling her that the only ones that will love her are himself and the prince of the story. Eventually, when Rue's love for the Prince enables him to break free from the tainted heart shard, Mytho rescues Rue and together they defeat the Raven. The Raven does not appear in the manga, but is briefly mentioned by Edel. Voiced by: Takayuki Sugou (Japanese), Mike Kleinhenz (English)
  • Drosselmeyer (ドロッセルマイヤー Dorosserumaiyā?) has a sadistic and tragedy-loving personality that makes him an opponent for Duck and Fakir to fight when they try to escape their tragic destinies. He is the one who first wrote the story The Prince and The Raven, and continues to watch and deliberately influence the events in Gold Crown Town from the "loop hole in time" after his death. He is the one who gives Duck her magic pendant in the beginning of the series, turning her from duck to girl to Princess Tutu. His name comes from the godfather of the children in the opening of The Nutcracker, the best-known ballet of Tchaikovsky; one Christmas, Drosselmeyer gives a wooden doll to his niece Marie, who rejects its ugliness but later realizes that it is magical. The Nutcracker is based on a short story by German author E. T. A. Hoffmann. Because of his powers of making anything he writes become true, his hands were cut off by the people of the town. However he continued to write with his own blood. He is not present in the manga.Voiced by: Noboru Mitani (Japanese), Marty Fleck (English)
  • Edel (エデル Ederu?) is a puppet-like adviser to Duck - with blank eyes, an organ grinder, and a collection of creatively named jewels, she gives vague advice and tells stories to Duck. Drosselmeyer created her to aide the story and plot in his place. Her interactions with Duck caused Edel to begin developing her own emotions, something that Drosselmeyer had not intended to happen. At the end of the first season, she carries Fakir from the dungeon and burns herself in a fire to warm him, as well as to light the way for Mytho and Princess Tutu. When the pair returned, she asked them to dance a pas de deux before she was completely consumed by the fire. In the manga, Edel is drastically changed, becoming the human owner of a shop where Duck sees a tutu that she admires. As a gift, Edel gives her an egg-shaped necklace and makes her promise to come back again. She seems to take the place of Drosselmeyer, encouraging not only Princess Tutu but Princess Kraehe as well. In the second volume, she is revealed to be plotting to revive the Raven within herself. Voiced by: Akiko Hiramatsu (Japanese), Christine Auten (English)
  • Uzura (うずら Uzura?) is a toddler-like doll created by Karon (Mytho and Fakir's adoptive father) from Edel's ashes. She plays a drum and semi-inadvertently helps Duck. However, her tendency to help turn Duck back into a girl with a splash of water often create awkward moments for both Duck and Fakir. Uzura often adds the extension 'zura' to the end of her sentences. She is very curious, and is fixated throughout the series on figuring out what love is. Uzura is absent in the manga.Voiced by: Erino Hazuki (Japanese), Christine Auten (English)
  • Autor (あおとあ Aotoa?) is a somewhat snobbish music student at the Academy who is obsessed with Drosselmeyer and his powers. After realizing Fakir is a descendant of Drosselmeyer, he becomes very interested in Fakir and encourages him to use the writing abilities Drosselmeyer once used to control the world. At one point in the anime, Rue seduces Autor in order to feed his heart to her father. However, Autor professes his love for her, which casts doubt on her father's words that no one but he and the prince could love her. Conflicted, Rue lets Autor go. Autor does not appear in the manga. Voiced by: Yuu Urata (Japanese), Adam Conlon (English)
  • Pike (ぴけ Pike?) is an outspoken tomboyish character and one of Duck's two best friends from her class. In the second season of the anime, she is the first victim of Mytho after the raven's blood in his heart possesses him and almost loses her heart, but Tutu is able to dance with her and save her from that fate. In the manga, her name is changed to Mai. Voiced by: Sachi Matsumoto (Japanese), Cynthia Martinez (English)
  • Lilie (りりえ Ririe?), Duck's other best friend from dance class who is constantly trying to push Duck into a doomed relationship with Mytho, and later Fakir. She romanticizes star-crossed lovers, happily waiting for the relationships to fail. In the manga, her name is changed to Yuma. Voiced by: Yuri Shiratori (Japanese), Sasha Paysinger (English)
  • Mr. Cat (猫先生 Neko-sensei?) is the dance teacher at the academy. He is one of the only anthropomorphized characters in the manga, and plays a similar role as in the anime. He frequently threatens misbehaving female students that they will have to marry him if they do not shape up. In the anime, Mr. Cat particularly makes this threat to Duck due to her frequently lateness to class and lack of concentration during practice. In the end of the anime, Mr. Cat is seen as a normal cat again, with a female cat and kittens. {{orVoiced by: Yasunori Matsumoto (Japanese), TJP (English)
  • Narrator, an unnamed female voice that presents a short tale in the prologue before each episode, often one related to the theme in the episode's title. Her voice also narrates in a few other situations, such as the closing of the Chapter of the Fledgling and in the split-episode previews in the Chapter of the Fledgling (only in the TV version, but also in the extras on the DVDs). Voiced by: Kyoko Kishida (Japanese) Jennie Welch (English 1st) Marcy Bannor (English 2nd)

Media

Anime

Princess Tutu was originally broadcast in two seasons. The first season, "Kapitel des Eies" ("Chapter of the Egg"), consisted of 13 half-hour episodes. The second season was broadcast as 26 quarter-hour episodes, to conform to the format of the time slot, so that each episode was split into two parts. These were brought back together in the DVD release as 13 complete episodes. The second season is called "Kapitel des Junges" ("Chapter of the Chick") in R2 DVDs, and "Kapital (sic) des Küken" ("Chapter of the Fledgling") in R1 DVDs.

The opening theme, "Morning Grace," is sung by Ritsuko Okazaki. The ending theme, "Although my Love is Small," is also sung by Ritsuko Okazaki.

Manga

A manga adaptation of the series was written by Mizuo Shinonome. It was published in Japan by Akita Shoten in the shōnen manga magazine Champion Red and collected in two tankōbon volumes in 2003. It was released in North America by ADV Manga in late 2004 and early 2005.[1]

References

  1. ^ "Princess Tutu (manga)". Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/manga.php?id=4333. Retrieved 2008-01-28. 

External links








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